Baseball: Owls beat Pirates 4-1 and avoid sweep

Mark Gibson

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FAU (11-6) avoided getting swept by Seton Hall University (5-8) in game 3 with a 4-1

victory on Saturday, March 12, in Boca Raton.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Owls scored their first run as catcher Mike Albaladejo crossed home plate on a double play at first and second bases. Later, in the bottom of the sixth, FAU knocked in another run off an RBI single from Albaladejo.

Seton Hall remained scoreless until the ninth inning thanks to starting pitcher R.J. Alvarez (1-1), who pitched an impressive six innings, allowing only four hits and no runs with one walk and six strikeouts. He even managed to get himself out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning as Pirates third baseman Giuseppe Papaccio, who hit the game-winning grand slam the previous night, flew out to second base.

FAU added to its lead in the bottom of the seventh as Sean Bukovich, who came in for third baseman Joey Burkhalter in the top of the inning, smacked a two-run RBI giving the Owls a 4-0 lead.

“We pitched well, we got big hits when we needed it, and we got the bunts down, said head coach John McCormack. “When we do those things we get the [win].”

Josh Gonzaga, who came in to relieve Alvarez in the top of the seventh, allowed Seton Hall to score a run in the top of the ninth, but the Pirates were unable to mount a rally as Gonzaga finished the inning striking out left fielder Ryan Sullivan to get the save and seal the 4-1 victory for FAU.

“It was crucial to win to get us out of the loss column,” said McCormack. “Those things start to mount mentally on you and you question yourself a little. Today refreshes everybody and gets your head in the right direction.”

FAU will play its first away game of the season as it takes on University of Miami on Tuesday, March 15, at 6 p.m. in Coral Gables, Fla.